|“||You know I've been alone for…a while now. Without any…purpose. Just hiding. It's no way to live. Not for a Jedi. Or a droid. Maybe Cere was right. Maybe we're done hiding||„|
|~ Cal Kestis, to BD-1|
Cal Kestis is the main protagonist and player character of the 2019 action-adventure video game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
He was a former Jedi Padawan who survived the Clone Wars as well as the fall of the Jedi Order. He and his master, Jaro Tapal, had been above Bracca aboard a Venator-class Star Destroyer when Order 66 was issued. While Tapal was killed by their clone troopers, Kestis escaped to the planet aboard their escape pod. During the reign of the Galactic Empire, Kestis sought to avoid the purge that killed most of his fellow Jedi by creating a new life for himself on Bracca, working as a rigger with the Scrapper Guild.
Cal Kestis was originally a Jedi Padawan studying to become a future Jedi Knight at the Jedi Temple on the core world of Coruscant during the era of the Galactic Republic. He escaped the Jedi Purge when the Jedi were betrayed by one of their own, Anakin Skywalker now called Darth Vader, and the Supreme Chancellor Palpatine who in secret was the powerful Sith Lord Darth Sidious. After escaping with his life he went into hiding, posing as a normal worker for the Scrapper Guild until he was discovered by the Second Sister and the Ninth Sister.
Kestis joined the crew of the starship Stinger Mantis after they rescued him from the Inquisitors. Over the course of their journey, Kestis befriended the droid BD-1, the former Jedi Cere Junda, the Mantis' captain Greez Dritus, and the Nightsister Merrin. They attempted to locate Eno Cordova's Jedi holocron, which contained information that was vital to creating a new generation of Jedi. Though they retrieved the holocron while surviving an encounter with the Sith Lord Darth Vader, Kestis chose to destroy the holocron in order to protect the galaxy's Force-sensitive children from the Sith. By then, Kestis had been recognized as a fully-trained Jedi by his new mentor Junda.
Personality and traits
Cal Kestis served the Jedi Order as a Padawan before Order 66 ensued. After the fall of the Jedi, Kestis went to serve the Scrapper Guild as a rigger, a physically demanding and dangerous job. However, Kestis was regarded for a focused work ethic and sense of humility he generally kept for himself, yet he was quiet and hard-working. Though he refused to speak on his past as he was quite haunted by it, feeling like he got his Master killed and could have done more, usually reacting with anger or dismissive of his past when it is brought up. Eventually Kestis began to open up more about his past and when confronted by the dark side on Dathomir for the second time in the form of his master, Kestis fully accepted his past and grew quite a lot from the experience, acting much more level headed and very wise, almost mentoring like towards others.
Powers and abilities
As a Padawan, Cal originally had a single-bladed blue lightsaber until he lost it while attempting to deflect a few blaster shots from clones and it fell down the elevator shaft and was destroyed when the ship blew up. In the escape pod, Jaro gave him his lightsaber despite it being damaged. Using its remains, Junda's lightsaber and a newly split Ilum crystal on the planet, Kestis built a double-bladed lightsaber that could separate into two lightsabers. As he progressed through his journey, Kestis became significantly more competent in the use of his lightsaber and displayed impressive skill in the use of a single-, double- and Jar'Kai dual-blade combat. His skill eventually reached a point where he was able to switch between these three forms while engaged in combat, utilizing strings of attacks in which he would constantly vary his weapon configuration in order to keep his opponents off-balance. While Cal doesn't seem to strictly conform to any particular lightsaber form, which is understandable considering his training was cut short due to Order 66, he clearly proved to be versed and familiar with few of them. His fighting style mostly resembled Form VI: Niman the closest, balancing offense and defense to not have a significant advantage but also lack any serious drawbacks, also proving adept with the more defensive strategies of Form III: Soresu to compliment his defensive skills. He could also perform several acrobatic lightsaber techniques that showed decent skill in Ataru. Niman's flexibility also allows for swift tandem use of Force powers and incorporation of Jar'Kai techniques to wield an extra lightsaber.
Despite his training being incomplete and having spent years not using a lightsaber, Cal was already formidable enough to defeat basic imperial troopers and even temporarily hold his own against Inquisitors. Although he wasn't able to receive much training in lightsaber combat even after taking up arms with one, Cal proved his incredible talent by being able to instinctively and self-taught grow in skill as he confronts more enemies, with the Second Sister even commenting that the rate with which Cal's skills were growing were remarkable after Cal held his own better in their second encounter. In time, his lightsaber combat skills increased to where he became able to defeat large beasts and elite Purge Troopers that had killed many Jedi and he even reached the level where he became capable of comparing with other veteran lightsaber duelists, as he could take on former Jedi Master Taron Malicos in blade-to-blade combat reasonably evenly and with only limited help from Merrin ultimately disarm and weaken him enough for Merrin to bury him alive, with Merrin even praising Cal's performance against Malicos. He not only fought on par with the Ninth Sister, even when she used her double-bladed lightsaber out of recognition of his skill, but also gained the upper hand, slicing her arm and cutting her once more before using the Force to dispatch her, and in his final duels with the Second Sister, Cal was able to stalemate her in their fight in Bogano before creatively deactivating his lightsaber to overpower her with the Force and in their fourth fight, outright outskill her blade-to-blade, wounding her shoulder and disarming her with a single move after a prolonged fight. He even managed to defend himself against Darth Vader temporarily, barely blocking his attacks and engaging in a bladelock long enough for BD-1 to shock Vader, proceeding to stab Vader in the stomach, though he failed to hit quickly enough to prevent Vader from making it not fatal and was quickly disarmed in process.
After Kestis' connection to the Force was damaged by the trauma he suffered during Order 66, he retained some basic use of the Force, such as the enhanced physicality of a typical Jedi and could still use the Force Stasis ability. He also retained his ability to use the rare, naturally acquired gift of psychometry, a Force technique that allowed him to sense the history of objects and people through the Force if he touched them. However, his damaged connection to the Force made him weak, as he was shown to be easily outclassed using the Force against the Second Sister and Purge Troopers.
However, after Kestis fully healed his connection to the Force, he proved to be a considerably powerful and skilled force user. He became able to use telekinetic techniques such as Force push, Force pull, and Force Repulse to great effect, even against groups of enemies or large beasts. Kestis's ability to use his Force Stasis power grew significantly as well, as he was able to hold multiple opponents in stasis at once and even slow down multiple blaster bolts simultaneously. He was also capable of throwing his lightsaber with the Force and utilizing limited telekinetic lightsaber combat, in which he would fling his weapon in a circle around his body with the Force. He also improved his abilities from being easily outmatched by the Ninth Sister with the Force to being able to overpower her in their last fights, force-pushing and disarming her telekinetically in their third altercation and summoning the Holocron from her grasp in their final duel. However, he was easily outmatched by Darth Vader's force abilities, as he was neither able to affect Vader nor resist the Sith Lord's telekinetic attacks, though he was resillient enough to pull down a piece of machinery down on Vader while force-choked by him, only for his attack to be easily repelled and Kestis himself flung aside and put up a very little struggle over his lightsaber before Vader swiftly overrode his control and proceeded to impale him.
- He is voiced by and motion captured by Cameron Monaghan, who also voiced Superboy in Reign of the Superman.
- Before settling on Kestis, the game developers thought about having either an alien or female protagonist, but Kestis was ultimately used because they didn't want to "alienate" the player nor have a female protagonist competing with Rey, the sequel trilogy's protagonist.
- Cal Kestis was at the Chicago's celebration convention.
- Cal's voice actor Cameron Monghan also played Jerome and Jeremiah Valeska in Gotham (both were earlier versions of Joker) making Cal similar to Mark Hamil who played the role as a Jedi and Joker.
- Also Cal looks similar to Jerome and Jeremiah.